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UPDATE: Making dreams come true with pizza

Pizza will put smiles on children’s faces once again thanks to the Papa John’s Dreams for Kids Day.

UPDATE: April 27

Dreams Day for Kids was a success.

Papa John’s managed to raise $ 42,354 during the third annual event, where all the proceeds go to the Sunshine Foundation of Canada to help children with severe physical disability or life-threatening illness.

The total was a little under the $50,000 mark but will still make dreams come true.

Seven stores across B.C. helped to raise the funds for the Sunshine Foundation.


Throw on the cheese and pop the pizzas in the oven - it’s all hands on deck at Papa John’s.

Seven days of business are crunched down into one magical day to raise funds for a worthy cause during the third-annual Dreams for Kids Day.

With seven stores on board, Papa John’s hopes to raise more than $50,000 for the Sunshine Foundation of Canada.

Scott Patten, Director of Operations in Kelowna, says 100 per cent of the day’s proceeds go to the charity.

“As well the staff are donating their wages for the day as well,” says Patten. “It all goes to towards Sunshine Dreams for Kids.”

Christine Freeman-Dwyer with the Sunshine Foundation says the funds from Papa John’s will go to support two programs for children with severe physical disability or life-threatening illness.

“We’ve got our Dreamlift program which we ran out of Kelowna just last year, where we took a plane full of kids down to Disneyland for the day,” she explains. “Then we also have our individual Dreams program where we work one-on-one with children to help them articulate their dreams and then make it come true.”

Helping make those dreams a reality are the Orange County Sheriffs who fly up to the Okangan for the whirlwind fundraising event.

Bob Peterson has been with sheriffs for 30 years and participating with Dreamlift for 27 years, and for the last couple of years has made the trip to the Okanagan to help with the fundraising event.

“There are many parents that have never left these kids an hour by themselves and they are entrusting them and their safety with the Orange County Sheriffs Department and the Sunshine Foundation,” says Peterson. “I want them to see a face, I want them to know that I will treat them as though they were my own children and we will bring them back safely.”

He says he participates in the event because he loves seeing the smiles on the children’s faces.

“It puts it in perspective for us. When I see a young deputy carrying a child off the plane it puts in perspective why we do what we do.’

The fundraiser previously held by another restaurant chain has been on going for 20 years.

Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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